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Saturday 22nd December v. Ards (home) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 3:00pm

Cliftonville Match Preview
Uploaded Friday, 9th Feb, 2018 at 12:31

BALLYMENA United host Cliftonville in the fourth attempt to play the semi-final of the BetMcLean League Cup on Saturday afternoon.
This game was originally scheduled for Tuesday 12th December and was postponed due to the freezing conditions. The second and third attempts to play the game on Tuesday 16th January and Tuesday 6th February were both postponed for the same reason. With the final of the cup due to take place next Saturday (17th February), all parties will be hoping the weather doesn't force yet another postponement.

The last time the sides faced each other was on the 2nd of January when United travelled to Solitude for a league game. The score was 1-1 at half time when the decision was taken by referee Evan Boyce to abandon the game due to high winds caused by Storm Eleanor.
Recent results v Cliftonville (all league unless stated):
Cliftonville 1-1 Ballymena United, Solitude, 2nd January 2018. (Abandoned at half-time)
Cliftonville 1-0 Ballymena United, Solitude, 25th November 2017. Att: 1304
Ballymena United 1-0 Cliftonville, Ballymena Showgrounds, 2nd September 2017. Att: 1241
Ballymena United 4-1 Cliftonville, Ballymena Showgrounds, 18th April 2017. Att: 874
Cliftonville 2-1 Ballymena United, Solitude, 25th March 2017. Att: 1211
Ballymena United 1-1 Cliftonville (1-1 aet) (4-3 pens), Ballymena Showgrounds, 7th January 2017. Tennent's Irish Cup Round 5
Cliftonville 2-0 Ballymena United, Solitude, 26th November 2016. Att: 1062
Ballymena United 3-2 Cliftonville, Ballymena Showgrounds, 10th September 2016. Att: 1019
Cliftonville:
In the months of December and January Cliftonville had 4 wins, 2 away from home and 2 at home, including their extra-time win over Warrenpoint Town in the Tennent's Irish Cup. They've drawn 3 home games and lost 3 on the road. This leaves them sitting in 4th place in the table, a point ahead of Linfield and 10 points ahead of United, who both have a game in hand. On Saturday past they eased past Crusaders in the sixth round of the Tennent's Irish Cup with a 4-1 victory at Solitude.

They reached the semi-final of the BetMcLean League Cup with a 4-0 win over Banbridge Town at home in the 2nd round, a 7-0 thrashing of PSNI at home in the 3rd round and a 1-0 away win over Carrick rangers in the quarter final.
Ballymena United:
In the same period United have won 5 games at home, including a 4-0 win over Moyola Park in the Tennent's Irish Cup, drawn their Boxing Day derby at Coleraine, held Linfield to a 2-2 draw at the Showgrounds and lost at Crusaders and Ards, leaving them in 6th spot in the league. They're only recent defeat at home was in the final of the Toals Co Antrim Shield, when Crusaders ran out 4-2 winners. Their last game, at home on Saturday afternoon, was a tight game when they came back from 2-0 down to draw and take their Tennent's Irish Cup sixth round game to penalties to defeat Ballinamallard United.

The road to the semi-final of the BetMcLean League Cup has included a 3-0 win over Knockbreda in the 2nd round, a 2-0 win over Portadown in the 3rd round and a 3-2 extra-time win over Ards in the quarter-final, all at home.
Entrance/Exit Information:
Entrance and exit details for fans attending the game can be found by clicking here.
Match Officials:
Referee: Keith Kennedy. Assistant 1: George Argyropoulos. Assistant 2: Kristian Hanna. 4th Official: Raymond Crangle.
Match Information:
Admission is payable at the gate.

Kick off is 3:00pm.
Can United grab the opportunity to retain the trophy they won for the first time last season and set up a final showdown against Dungannon Swifts? Make your way to the Showgrounds on Saturday afternoon and be loud and proud in support of YOUR team - Come On Sky Blues!
Match Preview by Paul Irwin